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Last Updated: Thursday, 24 January 2008, 08:14 GMT
India buoyed by Tendulkar century
Fourth Test, Adelaide, day one (close):
India 309-5 v Australia
By Jamie Lillywhite

Sachin Tendulkar
Tendulkar used the aerial route to excellent effect against the spinners
A magnificent Sachin Tendulkar century guided India to 309-5 after the opening day of the final Test with Australia.

Vying to level the series, India opted to bat on an superb Adelaide pitch but lost Rahul Dravid (18) before lunch, and Sourav Ganguly, lbw well forward.

VVS Laxman, dropped by Adam Gilchrist, made 51 and shared 126 with Tendulkar, who struck 10 fours and three sixes in an unbeaten 124, his 39th Test hundred.

Mahendra Dhoni was with him on six, having been dropped by Matthew Hayden.

Following the memorable third Test in Perth, which India won to reduce their deficit in the series to 2-1, both teams made changes at the top of the batting order.

Australia were able to welcome back Hayden, averaging 53 from 93 Tests with 29 centuries to his name, while India elected to promote all-rounder Irfan Pathan, also using him as one of five bowlers.

And the left-hander calmly clipped his first delivery through mid-wicket to the boundary as Mitchell Johnson took the second over with the new ball.

Having hit another four, Pathan departed in the eighth over when he was drawn forward by left-arm seamer Johnson and edged through to keeper Gilchrist.

Dravid's 18 spanned 55 deliveries and did not feature a boundary, his innings ending 10 minutes before the lunch break when he fended in timid fashion to second slip.

Sehwag made an enterprising 63 before his flat-footed attempted cut at Lee fizzed off a thick edge to Hayden at first slip.

VVS Laxman and Sachin Tendulkar
Laxman survived a chance on 37 to share a key stand with Tendulkar

Ganguly appeared unfortunate to be given out by umpire Asad Rauf when struck on the pad, having taken a huge step down the pitch in his attempt to sweep.

A partnership was badly needed and Tendulkar and Laxman provided it.

They were aided by an astonishing error from Gilchrist, however, when the stand had reached 84 and Laxman was on 37.

Fishing outside the off-stump against the pace of Lee, Laxman got a routine edge through to the keeper and had turned for the pavilion only to see the ball spill out of Gilchrist's gloves.

The powerful right-hander took advantage to hit successive fours off Hogg and complete his 32nd half-century.

Having taken three successive fours off Johnson, Tendulkar then turned his attentions to Hogg, lofting him straight down the ground for six and adding a one-bounce four over mid-on next ball as 18 came from the over.

606: DEBATE
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He launched another majestic straight six off Michael Clarke's slow left-armers to move to 98, before punching the next one through mid-off for four to reach three figures from 133 balls, his first hundred at the Adelaide Oval, former home of the great Sir Donald Bradman.

The partnership came to an end when Laxman took his eye off a sharply directed Lee bouncer and the ball looped gently off the glove to Gilchrist.

Johnson thought he had added the wicket of Dhoni when from round the wicket he tempted the cavalier batsman to drive a wide delivery.

The ball flew straight to Hayden's midriff at first slip but hit low on his hands and the veteran opener was left to ruefully examine his fingers in embarrassed fashion.

Dhoni had made only three at that stage and India will hope their two most charismatic figures can lead them to a sizeable total on day two.


  • Sachin Tendulkar:
    "I was determined to get a big one here and it also happens to be Sir Don's home ground.

    "When I was batting I was not thinking about that, I was just concentrating, but I am very glad to get a hundred here.

    "It is truly special, very overwhelming. The ovations have been truly fantastic and has made my trip very, very special."

  • Brad Hogg:
    "Any innings when Sachin is batting is a joy to watch but you'd rather him be making the hundreds against someone else.

    "The game is pretty even at the moment but I think if we can make inroads with the new ball and can roll India before they get to 400 we are in the box seat.

    "It should take more spin as the game goes on."



    SEE ALSO
    Ganguly & Dravid miss one-dayers
    20 Jan 08 |  Cricket
    India win ends Aussie record bid
    19 Jan 08 |  Cricket
    India in Australia 2007-08
    12 Jan 08 |  Cricket


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